Community Safety and Support
Sign In

Dog Attacks

Image for the Dog Attacks page.
This page contains information about roaming dogs and how to deal with a dog that acts agressively.
Updated: 14/09/2016 12:30 p.m.

It is natural for a dog to want to roam and when they do they can often join up with other dogs and become a pack.   

Dogs naturally travel in packs and from the point of view of the dog it is natural to want to protect the pack. Dogs are naturally territorial animals and will sometimes show aggression towards visitors, meter readers, tradesmen, etc.

It is important to remember that any dog can bite and whether your dog bites through fear or aggression it can have far reaching effects on both you and your dog.

To be on the safe side, it is always best to avoid letting your dog run free in areas where small children, livestock, poultry or protected wildlife are present.

It is important that dogs be kept under control at all times both on and off your property.

Dog attacks

In the Whangarei district there are about 110 reported dog attacks and occurrences of dog rushing every year.

No matter how well you know a dog or how friendly the dog looks, any dog is capable of attacking and causing you serious harm.

Dogs can attack when they feel provoked, nervous or when they think their owner might be threatened.

It’s important to know how to behave around dogs:

  • don't approach or run away from a dog
  • don't use fast or sudden movements
  • don't look directly into a dog's eyes or lean over the dog (these are dominant behaviours)
  • always ask the owner first if you want to pat their dog

Always be mindful of young children around dogs. If a dog appears threatening, back away slowly and try to keep a defensive barrier between you and the dog, but don't use anything as a weapon.

If you have been attacked, seek medical attention immediately if skin has been broken or if the wound seems reasonably serious.

All dog attacks should be reported to our Animal Management team. This information is necessary if there is any action taken against the dog or the owner in the future. It also helps us monitor dog control issues in Whangarei. 

The Dog Control Act

If a dog has shown itself to be menacing or dangerous, we may take the following actions:

  • issue a warning or infringement notice
  • file a prosecution (if the offence or harm is significant)
  • classify the owner as probationary or disqualify them from ownership
  • classify the dog as dangerous or menacing
  • impound the dog pending the court decision.

Contact us

For any queries on the topics covered on this page or if you wish to make a complaint or enquiry, please contact us on our main number +64 9 430 4200, which operates 24/7.

Please click on the link below for our full contact details.




Whangarei District Council owns this website and the information, images and photographs in it are subject to copyright. No portion may be copied or republished without prior permission of Whangarei District Council. We have made every reasonable effort to provide accurate and reliable information. The use of any information is at the website visitor’s own risk and discretion.